Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is still a confusing pill to swallow. It’s trying so hard to stop from being an obvious milking of the franchise by keeping the same character from Assassin’s Creed II with just multiplayer on top of that for another $60. So the big question is: Did Ubisoft made a title that’s worth full price or should it have been DLC added to Assassin’s Creed II?
Multi-ssassin – Coming up with new multiplayer is always a daunting task for a game developer. With ACB’s multiplayer, Ubisoft actually did a remarkable job for making the assassination gameplay work. The way it works is that players are put into two teams. Each team can take the form of a regular citizen of the city, and the city will only be filled with one of these characters. Teams will take turns on being the hunters and being the hunted. When on offense, you’re given a person on the other team to track down and you have to use your compass to find them then go in for the kill. You get points for the takedown, but your target will be reset if you kill a NPC instead of the player which can happen a lot since there are many NPC that will look like your target. Not just that, NPCs will act erratically in the same way you think a human player would. On defense, you’re goal is to not get killed. You get points for the longer you can go without being killed and extra points by blending in with crowds in the same fashion that you can do during the single player campaign. There are also gates you can run through that will block off your opponents when they start to run after you. Players will unlock abilities that can be used to help on both offense and defense in the same fashion as Call of Duty and other multiplayer games. Played correctly, the game gives a sense of tension that you can’t find in other multiplayer games. Of course, that’s IF it’s played correctly, and good luck to find that online.
Renaissance Graphics - Once again, Ubisoft has recreated a city with such incredibly, beautiful detail that exploring it is like looking through a book of art. It’s the kinds of environments that I love in a game because it really makes me want to see the real location in person.
Crammed-in Story – AC2 ended fairly well. We learned more clues about the artifact known as the Adam’s apple and just as many questions were answered, giving just enough to being anticipating the next game. Then ACB comes out and instead of being given a new character and new assassin to learn about, we’re still left with Enzio. Granted he’s a great protagonist but his story was told very succinctly for me with no need for extra chapters. Well, now we’re given extra chapters and it’s simply doesn’t carry the emotion that AC2 did. Desmond, what you may call the main character in all this storyline mess, plays a more pivotal role than DNA mule for the game. Yet, we’re stuck with more questions and now we have answers to questions we didn’t care about. For a story that played out so well in AC2, Ubisoft sure figured out how to make it less impressive this time around.
Pwned Like a Newb You Are – Multiplayer can be fun IF played right, but naturally, not everyone will play correctly. No surprise there. What is a surprise is that players that have level 50 characters are playing in the same room at level 1s which makes for a huge disadvantage for the new guys.
Enough With the Loading – One thing that was frustrating was trying to get an online game going. Even when it said that 8 players were in the room there would still be a long load time, and then someone would drop out. While it’s fair to keep everything 4 vs. 4, it does make a game harder to find. For future games, maybe Ubisoft should consider starting a game at 3 vs. 3 if a 4 vs. 4 match can’t be found fast enough.
Although Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (or AssCreedBro as it’s fondly called) left a bad taste for the single player, the multiplayer gave me some real high hopes for the future of the series. I’m always impressed when a developer is able to pull together a new, fresh multiplayer experience in a world where every non-sports game is trying to copy of the Call of Duty 4 formula. When played correctly, there is a sense of tension in the game that you don’t find in other games. It’s thrilling to play, though getting a whole room of players that know how to play properly is somewhat rare.
My biggest problem with Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is that they took the multiplayer and tacked on a single player for $60. On one hand, I understand why they did it. A multiplayer DLC released a year later would have caused many of fans to yell “WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST ADD IT TO THE GAME LAST YEAR!?” from their computer chairs with their caps permanently locked. On the other hand, though, I feel that for $60 all you’re getting is a fun and new multiplayer mode, but also a campaign that even fans of the series will find dull even though it’s a solid 20 hours of gameplay.
If you’re a diehard fan of the series or incredibly interested in the multiplayer, get the game. Everyone else should wait until it drops down in price or wait for the next entry into the series which I’m sure will have a more, proper, thought-out story along with a more refined multiplayer experience.
- Oscar Gonzalez
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